This is an excerpt from Please Like Me, BuzzFeed News’ newsletter about how influencers are battling for your attention. You can sign up here.
“Houses,” or collectives of young creators who live together and collaborate, have become ubiquitous on TikTok. There’s Hype House, Sway LA, Clubhouse, and the list goes on. As far as business goes, combining everyone’s accounts seems pretty wise.
But in terms of content, abundance does not always breed better quality. Putting a bunch of nice-looking people — with vanilla personalities — together does not create more interesting TikToks. It just makes a large vanilla swirl sundae. It’s not for me!
However, I was caught off guard this past week when I kept coming across videos from a new TikTok House on my For You page — and I was enjoying them. Like other houses, the House Nobody Asked For is a group of eight young TikTokers who each have their own relatively large followings. However, unlike the other houses, the eight personalities seem to have their own...what’s the word I’m searching for...ah, personalities!
As opposed to other TikTok houses, which feature many of the same kinds of people melting into each other, the House Nobody Asked For (THNAF) seems to play up each of its members’ shticks. All of the members are comedians, with their own acts, so many of their videos are one large sketch cut with mini one-liners. It’s a bit chaotic, but it works. Their bits are funny, and I actually get to know each member individually. They also don’t all look like one another, which helps.
I reached out to one of them, Will Mahony, who first formed the group in July because he wanted to quarantine with other TikTokers he liked. I asked him why he thinks their house feels different than others on the app. In a nutshell, he thinks it’s the self-awareness and being in on the joke.
“We came up with the name just knowing that there were so many houses on TikTok that people were starting to say like, ‘Why is everyone making a house all of the sudden...like, who asked for all these houses?’” Will said. “We just thought it’d be a funny concept just realizing, yeah, literally not a single person asked for this house to come together. It’s just such a random group of comedy creators across TikTok with different styles. Not a single soul was like, ‘Yo, I can’t wait for that Polo Boy x Anthpo collab!’ … Nobody asked for us, but here we are anyway.”
Will added that he and the other members see themselves as very different from Hype House or Sway, and looking at those houses as “competition” does a disservice to what THNAF wants to accomplish.
“We kinda realized that there really were no house accounts out there making quality content that is genuinely entertaining, so we said, 'Aight, let’s just try and make some funny stuff and see where it goes,’” he said. “We never saw Sway or Hype as competition. We wouldn’t want to be associated with them at all because we wouldn’t want their audience and we make completely different stuff than them.”
“Like, we just want to make our stuff, and whoever likes it likes it, and whoever doesn’t just doesn’t,” he added. “There shouldn’t be two sides that don’t like each other. We just wanna vibe.”
Roger that. We all just wanna vibe to what we wanna vibe to.
Until next time,